Bob Odenkirk’s new humor book is a load of hooey

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One of Naperville’s finest, Bob Odenkirk, has written a book called “A Load of Hooey” (McSweeney’s) that is filled with his comedic takes on such subjects as politics, Internet reviewers, God and poetry. It also includes an original play titled “Hitler Dinner Party” that Mel Brooks might want to option for film or perhaps musicalize for the Broadway stage.

EXCERPT: “Obit for the Creator of Mad Libs” from A Load of Hooey

Not long before his visit to Chicago on Nov. 6-7, when he’ll perform and sign books at Up Comedy Club in Old Town, the star of AMC’s much anticipated “Breaking Bad” spinoff “Better Call Saul” and self-proclaimed “cranky” guy discussed some of his views on topics that he satirizes in “Hooey.”

Topic: Why people should waste their money on his load of hooey

Related “Hooey” section: Epigraph taken from Merriam-Webster’s definition of “hooey”: “Don’t waste your money on that book — it’s a lot of hooey.”

Bob says: “Because you’re incredibly wealthy and you need to write it off on your taxes. And because you like comedy that really makes you laugh out loud. People always gave us [him and former comedy partner David Cross] credit on [HBO’s] “Mr. Show” for the transitions and the construction of the show. I was proudest of the fact that we got really hard laughs. That’s what made me happy. And this book’s got some really good laughs in it.” [Note to reader: This is true.]

Topic: Toilet reading

Related “Hooey” section: “One Should Never Read a Book on the Toilet”

Bob says: “Please buy yourself the book and then get yourself a fresh new toilet. Make sure it’s got a connection to the sewer. Don’t just unwrap it. You’ve got to install the toilet. Head over to Home Depot. They should sell my book with toilets — as a bonus. Get one with a bidet if you want to please your wife, and read away. I’ve never used a bidet. It’s a little bit invasive.”

Topic: Being profiled for newspapers or magazines

Related “Hooey” section: “A Portrait of the Artist”

Bob says: “It’s worrisome, because you’re afraid they’re going to say something about you or misinterpret something you say. And also you feel like — and it’s true of everyone — you can’t really get a sense of a person in half an hour or an hour. When I think of my life, one minute I’m in a big film, acting, and the next day I’m doing the dishes for the umpteenth time and making sure the dog gets a walk. That’s my life, and a profile’s just never going to have every side in it. You just want it to be balanced. … I love to talk about comedy and I love to talk about show business and storytelling and how you do it and what I’ve learned and what I need to learn. But you can’t help but sound like a pompous ass at a certain point. When you get about two minutes in on any subject, even though you’re being completely earnest and humble as you can be, you just start to sound like you’re pontificating. Like I sound right now.”

Topic: Internet reviews and reviewers

Related “Hooey” section: “Didn’t Work for Me”

Bob says: “You read [them] for two reasons: to read rave reviews from people who love you and reviews from people who hate you. Because one’s very entertaining and makes you feel very good about yourself, usually, and the other either makes you nod your head like, ‘Yeah, somebody called me out. That guy’s got my number.’ Or you just go, ‘This person’s an idiot.’ You’re entertained either way. … The fact is, a lot of negatives are true, and they’re right, and that’s hard. You wish you could tell the person, ‘I know, I know. You’re right. I felt the same way. And you would never imagine that I agree with you, but I do agree with you.’ And then, of course, some are just loony tunes.”

Topic: The most important body part to develop

Related “Hooey” section: “Abs”

Bob says: “The right foot. So much press and thought is given to the left foot. The right foot is where it’s at! Think about it: You don’t need your left foot, but without the right foot you’d always be walking east and end up in New York. Ugh!

Bob Odenkirk’s A Load of Hooey Performance/Signing 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, and Friday, Nov. 7 Up Comedy Club, 230 W. North (third floor of Piper’s Alley) Tickets $45 (includes a copy of the book) Info:; (312) 662-4562


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